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Library from the Future

With the technology that is already accessible and the technology that is soon to come it is no doubt that it will have a substantial effect on higher education. In an article on the Campus Technology website they examine the exploratory trip of two secondary education students who determine the the academic potential of different tech seen today. This assignment was given to them by their university professor Erica Hamilton who claims that the goal of this assignment is for the students to explore new technology and to start thinking like teachers on how they can be used for educational purposes.

Grand Valley State University’s Technology Showcase provides an immersive environment to interact with an array of emerging technologies.


Hamilton sends her students to a technology showcase room in the new library at Grand Valley State University in Missouri. Libraries across the country are redefining themselves as learning commons and many are adding maker spaces. But Grand Valley has gone a step further, because its showcase provides an immersive environment to interact with an array of emerging technologies ranging from Oculus Rift to Double Robotics’ telepresence robots to 3D printers. By continuously researching and monitoring trends, the showcase focuses on identifying emerging technologies that have potential applications across campus. The article discusses how this space makes a great addition to a library where students can be exposed to a vast amount of knowledge from many different apsects.

Follow this link to read the full article


Evernote is an app is specially designed to help you with your organization skills with more than just notebooks. Users are able to add their own text, images, audio, scanned documents, files, and much more all on to Evernote. The files you enter are synchronized with all other devices you have Evernote on as well. It also provides its users with a powerful search engine that is able to recognize and locate text inside your files and images.

Users are saying that Evernote acts as their second brain, an “external brain” to be exact. Mainly because its capability of storing everything the user wants, into one easy accessible location. When using this app in groups you can share your work as well as comment on your own or another member’s work.

If you are worried that others cant find your work, you can simply use Evernote’s tagging feature. Tagging makes it easier for you to categorize your notes and simplifies the search for you as well as others who may be viewing.  Making it easier for you to stay organized and be able to locate your work at faster and more convenient pace. There is truly a lot that Evernote offers, to find out more about this app, download it today or click on the link above for more information.


Learn More with Hands-On Experience

With most courses in college the one thing that usually enhances learning of a particular subject is getting your hands dirty. Meaning, getting hands on experience. For most science courses this not a problem but when students want to examine something that may be too fragile, too valuable, too small, or inaccessible, there wasn’t much of a solution until now. In an article on the website Campus Technology they discuss how St. Cloud State University’s Visualization Lab has added high-precision 3D scanners to its technology portfolio, allowing students and faculty to examine objects that previously were inaccessible.

hands on learning

The Minnesota university chose Artec 3D to provide the 3D scanner hardware and its Studio 10 software, along with a dedicated server, touch-enabled computers, stand-up touchscreen displays, projectors and virtual reality headsets. The technology, which became available at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, allows St. Cloud to expand its collection of 3D models that can be studied in virtual environments.

Through the Visualization Lab’s Interactive Skull Museum portfolio, biology students now can examine the department’s wide collection of cow, deer, fox, bobcat and even human skulls — specimens that often are quite delicate and cannot be handled easily. Using the 3D scanners, students have been able to create virtual objects that can be turned, shared and explored without concerns about damaging them. The tools will also allow students to create 3D models of microscopic organisms like algae that can be viewed using virtual reality tools.

St. Cloud’s Visualization Lab, located in the school’s Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility, allows faculty and students access to technology that can be used in a wide variety of cross-disciplinary projects that give students hands-on experience.

For more information on this topic visit the link above.

Making Lectures More Interactive

Bruce Hay, a biology teacher at the California Institute of Technology, has recently come up with a way to integrate more participation into his classroom and, as a result, seen an increase in the average grades of his students.

He started using an app called SKIES (Su-Kam Intelligent Education Systems) that allows students to create an interconnected web of knowledge about a topic that a professor is teaching. Hay states that “if you don’t have participation, then you’re not getting any feedback on what students are learning…It’s just a half an hour monologue without really knowing that you’re getting through to anyone.” He also explains that it is important that the students become more interactive instead of a passive audience.


Instructors and students are able to post class materials that are linked together, becoming a “class tree” (Credit: Campus Technology)


Anyone can use the app – university students and professors, or K-12 students and teachers. The material that students can post on SKIES can range from text, pictures, drawings, audio clips, links or videos. This also lets students learn from each other rather than just the teacher being the sole source of knowledge in the class.

While Hay is lecturing in his classroom, you will be able to see yellow bubbles pop up on the powerpoint he is presenting behind him. Those bubbles are the questions and comments that students are leaving on the app. Students are also able to thumbs up or thumbs down slides; green slides will have a thumbs up, while red slides have a thumbs down. Hay will be able to see which slides students were able to grasp versus which might have been confusing. Some instructors worry, however, that students who post things onto the app during a live lecture will become distracted. Some professors then ask that the students post only after the lecture, as students already seem to be multitasking enough during class.

More information on this topic can be found on the main article here.

The Future of Flashcards

Read, understand, memorize, and repeat. This is a phrase that college students know all too well. For those courses riddled with vocabulary, scientific terms and of course foreign languages the memorizing can be daunting. Flashcards have been a widely used solution for years now and with the age of apps it has now become a tool that can cut down on stacks of index cards and keeping them all organized.


Quizlet is both a web-based and phone-based application that gives the user the power to create flash cards and organize them in any way they please. What sets Quizlet apart is that it actually functions mostly as an online learning tool, and it was created by high school sophomore Andrew Sutherland in Albany, California. As a memorization tool, Quizlet lets registered users create “sets” of terms customized for their own needs. These sets of terms can then be studied under several study modes. Quizlet recently added the ability to listen to content using text-to-speech. This is handy for those foreign language classes as well as those words you just can’t pronounce. Quizlet has over 60 million user-generated flashcard sets and more than 20 million registered users. Registered users also have access to flashcards created and shared by other users in case there subject of study is more common. It is a great online study tool that is virtually accessible anywhere. The tool is free to use and registration is free as well, but there is an optional $14.99 yearly membership you can pay for that adds additional features such as the ability to add images to your flashcards, and removes advertisements.

This tool is available on the web at Quizlet.com and on both the Apple store and Play store as a free application. It is highly recommended by students and is definitely a tool worth checking out.